Nathan (vovat) wrote,

I performed acts of devotion as if you were Ganesh

While the Egyptian pantheon is full of gods with both human and animal features, it's much more rare among the Hindus. Garuda is often shown as part bird and part human, but the most prominent Hindu deity to be portrayed as part animal is, of course, Ganesh, usually shown as a fat guy with an elephant's head, and only one tusk intact. There are a few different myths for how Ganesh ended up with the head of a pachyderm, the most popular being that Parvati had the young Ganesh (to whom she gave birth without a man being involved) guard the bathroom while she was bathing, and her husband Shiva, being annoyed that this kid was blocking his access to his own bathroom and wife, beheaded the lad. At Parvati's insistence, he went on to replace the boy's head with that of an elephant (how it fit so well being another issue entirely). Another origin story for the head is that Parvati insisted that all of the gods look at Ganesh when he was born, and Shani's evil eye destroyed the young deity's original pate.

Ganesh is often portrayed as riding on a mouse or rat, and is said to have broken off one of his tusks in order to transcribe the Mahabharata. He is worshipped as the remover of obstacles and patron of arts and sciences, and is generally invoked at the beginning of a chant.

Tags: mythology, religion

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